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Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is Card Security Code (CSC) or Card Verification Code (CVV)?

The Card Security Code is an important security feature for credit card transactions where the card is not present, like on the Internet or over the phone. This code has 3 or 4 digits and is in a different location depending on the card type. Requiring this code to be entered adds another layer of security to a transaction.

CVV is a card verification system that verifies that a cardholder is in possession of a credit card by verifying a set of numbers that is embossed on the credit card and not encoded in the magnetic strip. This way even if the card number is stolen, a transaction cannot be processed if the purchaser cannot verify the CVV number on the card.

Requiring CVV in addition to AVS, and not accepting payments from cards where the CVV and/or AVS data does not match with the issuing bank, can help to eliminate most fraudulent orders for internet and keyed entry businesses.

Each card issuer has a different name for the CVV system, but all are essentially the same thing. Visa refers to it as CVV2, Mastercard is called CVC2, Amex is CID.

The CVV number is located on the back of the card except for most Amex cards where it is on the front. Amex also uses a 4-digit verification code whereas all other card makers use a 3-digit number.

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